Beaverton Baha'i Center
Respect the Environment
Humans are in a sense outside of nature in that our actions and purposes may not be limited by nature in the sense that all other creatures on earth are limited. This gives us a unique ability and resposibility with regard to the environment. We can preserve and enhance it or we can destroy it. Our spiritual responsibility is to protect the environment so that we pass a healthy and vibrant planet and biosphere on to our descendants.
"NATURE IN ITS essence is the embodiment of My Name, the Maker, the Creator. Its manifestations are diversified by varying causes, and in this diversity there are signs for men of discernment. Nature is God's Will and is its expression in and through the contingent world. It is a dispensation of Providence ordained by the Ordainer, the All-Wise." Bahá'í Writings.
With those words, Bahá'u'lláh, Prophet-Founder of the Bahá'í Faith outlines the essential relationship between man and the environment: that the grandeur and diversity of the natural world are purposeful reflections of the majesty and bounty of God. For Baha'is, there follows an implicit understanding that nature is to be respected and protected, as a divine trust for which we are answerable.
Here is a recent scientific report on the effect of exposure to natural settings on human mental and physical health: